The Lord God Bird

The Ivory Billed Woodpecker, often referred to as “The Lord God Bird” for its breathtaking appearance, was one of the world’s largest and most majestic woodpeckers. Due to destruction of its forest habitat, the bird was thought to have become extinct in the mid- twentieth century, but then a sighting was reported in Arkansas in 2004. A search led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology ensued, with a reward of $50,000 offered to anyone who could lead a biologist to a living specimen, but these subsequent investigations failed to confirm the sighting definitively. Such are the true events that inspire the fictional story in Tom Gallant’s THE LORD GOD BIRD: A Novel

[The Quantuck Lane Press; April 17, 2012; $24.95 cloth].

Set in the vestiges of a small rural community in Big Woods, Arkansas, this elegant, elegiac novel follows a lonely widower who spends his time farming, building wooden canoes, and paddling through the hardwood swamps in solitude. On one such canoe trip, he catches a fleeting glimpse of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker and takes it as a miracle. When the world finds out about the sighting, scientists and strangers arrive to mount a proper search, and advertisements for everything from Ivory Bill-themed t-shirts to burgers and haircuts start cropping up in the local town. As the story unfolds and searchers armed with cameras begin to invade the far reaches of the swamps, we also become privy to the inner thoughts of the Lord God Bird himself.

Infused with captivating imagery and spare, assertive prose, THE LORD GOD BIRD explores the vibrant spirit of a wild creature in a way no nonfiction work ever could. This is a profound, yet hopeful, meditation on the way humans relate to the natural world.

For more information, please contact:

Rebecca Carlisle at (978) 985-3604 or

Available for pre-order at and